Game On parenting initiative for CSS Wellington

NauMai September 2021 Game on is a successful men’s parenting programme developed by Dunedin’s Catholic Social Service’s Director Mike Tonks over the last 14 years. The programme, created ‘by Dads…

NauMai September 2021

Game On parenting initiative for CSS Wellington Archdiocese of Wellington
CSS social worker Eru Fox will lead the Game On programme in Wellington.

Game on is a successful men’s parenting programme developed by Dunedin’s Catholic Social Service’s Director Mike Tonks over the last 14 years. The programme, created ‘by Dads for Dads’, is designed as a forum for fathers in general and reflects the call to mission in Malachi 4;6: ‘He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers’.

When Mike initiated the six-week programme, there was no other initiative in the Dunedin region for fathers where they could talk about their common concerns and issues. Since then, over 800 Dads have attended Game On after hearing about it from friends, or referred through Social Agencies.

The programme will begin in Wellington in September.

Facilitators say the course is for men who want to make the most of their life and the relationships with their children. Discussions include setting goals, communication, setting boundaries, brain development, nutrition, and discipline.

‘It’s great to have more tools in the tool kit. So instead of losing my s… I am trying to work things out. I am feeling better about myself.’ 

Game On parenting initiative for CSS Wellington Archdiocese of Wellington
Game On developer Mike Tonks discusses Game On with some of the men attending the programme in Dunedin. Photos: Supplied

‘This quote from a Dad attending the programme, may not be as eloquent as Malachi but you get the picture – mission being achieved,’ says Mike Tonks.

CSS Wellington Director, Karen Holland, says she hopes Game On can help address a gap in the support available to Dads in the Wellington region. 

CSS Wellington Social Worker Eru Fox and a volunteer facilitator recently attended a training weekend in Dunedin as a first step to bringing Game On to Wellington.

Eru says Game On be cool. ‘It’s cool to hang out with like-minded men. We are different and it’s great to celebrate each other’s differences – GAME ON!’

Game On will start in Wellington on 23 September through to 27 October from 6.30 to 8.30pm. The programme runs for two hours a week over six consecutive weeks. Please contact Eru at CSS Wellington on email e.fox@wn-catholicsocialservices.org.nz or ph 0274 055 469 to find out more.